A new report by Synthace is paving the way for more efficient, impactful experimentation.

Lab automation & experimentation in life science R&D 2023-2024 investigates the industry challenges faced by researchers and highlights opportunities for improvement. Data management, automation hurdles, burdens placed on individual scientists, and lack of support are among the key themes raised by the authors at Synthace.

Decision makers lack confidence in their experiment data

The report delves into the critical role that accurate and reliable data plays in decision-making processes within the field. Surprisingly, 43% of decision-makers admit that their main difficulty in making clear go/no-go decisions lies with their confidence in experiment data. This statistic underscores the pressing need for improved processes, behaviors, and systems for data creation, management, and analysis that enable scientists to make informed choices based on robust evidence.

Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (90%) of decision-makers agree that hardware/software integration remains a significant barrier to digital transformation. Bridging this divide is crucial to unleash the full potential of laboratory automation tools and make scientific progress across research teams.

Key themes from the report

One major challenge highlighted by the report is scientists’ struggle to build upon previous experiments due to difficulties accessing relevant information from different sources including literature reviews or equipment specifications. A staggering 57% of scientists face obstacles when attempting to leverage existing knowledge or replicate methods used by other researchers. Streamlining access to past work will undoubtedly enhance collaboration within scientific communities and accelerate progress.

Implementation time is another obstacle inhibiting innovation in laboratories worldwide. Approximately half (50%) of scientists cite lengthy implementation periods as a significant deterrent when considering new automation tools. Overcoming this hurdle would empower researchers with cutting-edge technologies while minimizing disruption during adoption phases.

“The findings presented in our report shed light on some fundamental challenges facing life science R&D experimentation today,” said Markus Gershater Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Synthace. 

“While we recognise there’s no silver bullet solution, we remain committed to equipping teams with the tools and systems they need to navigate the complexities of their work. Our mission is to empower scientists, streamline experimentation processes, and drive impactful discoveries.”

Additionally, the report highlights that reproducibility plays a critical role in optimizing resource allocation. 82% of decision-makers agree that more reproducible experiments would result in significant savings of time, money, and valuable resources.

Keeping track of diverse experimental elements presents yet another hurdle for researchers. An overwhelming majority (87%) of scientists admit that this is one of their key challenges.

Highlight statistics from the report

  • 43% of decision-makers say the main difficulty with making clear go/no-go was confidence in experiment data.
  • 90% of decision-makers agree that hardware/software integration creates a barrier to digital transformation.
  • 57% of scientists have a hard time building on the work of previous experiments (lit, labs, scientists, equipment).
  • 50% of scientists report the main barrier to introducing new automation tools is implementation time and getting up to speed.
  • 82% of decision-makers also agree that more reproducible experiments would lead to savings in time, money, and resources.
  • 87% of scientists say the main challenge with running experiments is keeping track of all of the different elements involved.
  • 52% of decision-makers believe that one of the main barriers to digital transformation in their labs is pushback from lab-based scientists.

Synthace is a digital experiment platform built for life science R&D teams to help them run more powerful experiments. 

Download the full report here.